My Favorite Thing to Do for Lent

rosary in hand_redCCH Communication and Evangelization Manager writes about her favorite thing to do for Lent:

“During Lent, there is one spiritual activity that I look forward to most. Before Lent starts, I get out my calendar and I write the name of one family member, friend, coworker, neighbor, acquaintance, or someone I’m not too fond of on one of the 40 days of Lent. On that day, I offer my prayers and petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings for that person’s intentions…” Read more here.

What are you giving up or taking on for Lent this year?

Tom Peterson on EWTN Live TODAY, Ash Wednesday!


First and foremost, we ask you to please join us in praying for the health of our Holy Father and for the upcoming election of our new Supreme Pontiff. We thank God for the amazing teacher and shepherd that Pope Benedict XVI has been, encouraging Catholics Come Home® and every one of us to live out the call to the New Evangelization with energy and boldness.

With the humility and faithfulness of Pope Benedict XVI to inspire us, we are pleased to report that the work of Catholics Come Home® is off to a great start in this new year. Here are some exciting updates we would like to share with you:

Catholics Come Home® combats anti-Catholic hostility on secular radio!
Our recent campaigns sparked lively discussions in the secular media, confirming that we know good things are happening when the Church faces such persecution. Christ promises us in Scripture that we are blessed when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (Matt 5:10). I hope you’ll take a few moments to listen to some of my recent radio interviews in Cincinnati and Vancouver

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and pray that God may give us the courage and strength to combat falsehood and love hurting souls with the love of Christ, even in the face of persecution.

Catholics Come Home® will be on EWTN Live on Ash Wednesday!
I will be sitting down with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. EST to discuss the recent campaigns and success of Catholics Come Home®, as well as the impact of media on our culture. We will also discuss the upcoming release of my new book, Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life (Random House/Image Publishing, NYC), with the foreword by Dr. Scott Hahn! Reruns of the show will air Thursday, Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. EST and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 4 a.m. EST.

We are only days away from the release of Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life!
If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy, you still have time to order online! Next week, Feb. 19, the book will be released and you will start seeing copies in your local Catholic bookstore. Please spread the word by emailing your friends and relatives to encourage them to get a copy of the book, too! It offers inspiration for the faithful and is a great evangelization tool for those friends and relatives on their journey home to the Church.

How did the Stations of the Cross Begin?

It’s the Lenten Season, and with it comes special devotions…like the Stations of the Cross.

Do you know the origin of the Stations? Learn more about it here.

Perhaps you can make a commitment to praying the Stations of the Cross this Lent. Check with your local parish too, as many churches pray the Stations of the Cross together on Fridays!

SUDDEN SURGE IN NEW ENGLAND MASS ATTENDANCE

Catholics Come Home
SUDDEN SURGE IN NEW ENGLAND
MASS ATTENDANCE
CATHOLICS COME HOME
® FILLING PEWS FOR EASTER

(April 12, 2011) Atlanta, GA—The parish pews of New England Catholic churches are noticeably fuller these days.  This Lent, the Archdiocese of Boston, the Diocese of Manchester and seven other dioceses across the nation have partnered with the lay organization Catholics Come Home®, to air the multimedia (TV and Internet) evangelization initiative inviting Catholics back to church – and it’s working!

Portraying the spirituality and history of the Catholic Church, the television messages reach out to inactive Catholics and others; encouraging their return to the Church.  The commercials direct the viewer to the www.CatholicsComeHome.org and www.CatolicosRegresen.org websites to explore answers to questions of faith and to utilize the site’s parish-finder feature to locate their local parish community and Mass times.  Television campaigns often feature ads in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish in the most popular programming like news, sports and Prime Time.

Catholics Come Home® commercials began airing on mainstream broadcast and cable television on Ash Wednesday in the Lenten partner archdioceses of Boston and New Orleans, and dioceses of Manchester, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux, Erie, Winona and Venice, FL.  The ads continue through Easter Sunday.  “This Lent, we’ve made an outreach to inactive Catholics…launching several television commercials to invite our brothers and sisters home,” said Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.  “It’s for Catholics, who for whatever reason have stopped coming to church.”

Jackie Rolon, a Boston Catholic who recently returned to the faith after seeing a CatholicsComeHome.org TV commercial, beamed with delight in a video interview with the Boston Herald.  “I have come back to the Church a month today.  The joy I feel is beyond words,” said Rolon while hugging a photo of her deceased father and a rosary closely to herself.   The Boston Herald‘s recent story “Religious Campaign Goes Beyond TV Ads,” brings light to the welcoming spirit of New England parishes.  The Rev. Francisco Anzoategui, believes as many as 20 people have come back to St. Stephen’s.  “You’ll be amazed how many people return because they are just waiting for an invitation to come back. It’s happening,” he said.  At St. Patrick’s in Stoneham, the Rev. Bill Schmidt held a three-night Lenten mission last month for current and lapsed Catholics. About 60 people attended a Q&A night to learn about the faith. Another 50 came to a session on annulments. Parishioners are encouraged to bring friends and family. “We are putting a big push on people to invite somebody to go back,” he said. “It’s always easier to come back with someone.”

In the Diocese of Manchester, The Citizen of Laconia paper reports, “A Welcome Home: Catholic Church Opens Arms To Prodigal Faithful“.  Area parishes such as St. André Bessette of Laconia, will have large, purple banners above their doors, welcoming people to come within. The Rev. Marc Drouin, pastor of St. Andre Bessette, said, “Even if one person returns home, it’s worth everything to prepare to receive them,” said Drouin. “Just this past week, I spoke with two people who were away for at least 30 years and both of them had seen the commercials on TV and decided to reconnect. It was a delight to meet them and to welcome them back.”

Previous Catholics Come Home® initiatives have already aired in more than 20 dioceses from Chicago to Phoenix, Sacramento to Providence and Atlanta to Corpus Christi.  These ads will have reached 40 million viewers by Easter.  Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and as much as 18%.  According to census statistics published by participating dioceses, Catholics Come Home® ads have helped more than 200,000 fallen away Catholics come home to the Church.

This Holy Thursday also marks the one year anniversary of the EncouragePriests.org website launch, a communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home®.  The EncouragePriests.org website is designed for the laity to send messages of support to the holy and heroic priests of Christ’s Catholic Church.  EncouragePriests.org includes free e-card Collar-Hollers, spiritual bouquets, and a place to post encouragement videos.

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To receive a copy of the commercials or hi res print images for media broadcast or to schedule an interview with Tom Peterson of Catholics Come Home®, please contact: Yvonne Marchese at 678-585-7886 x101, or by e-mail to yvonne@catholicscomehome.org

CatholicsComeHome.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks.  EncouragePriests.org™ is a special communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Recalling your Baptism during Lent

“When we let our life be illuminated by the mystery of Christ, we experience the joy of being liberated from all that threatens its full fulfillment.” -Pope Benedict XVI, April 3 Sunday Angelus

sacraments

Read more about the power of Baptism against sin and temptation according to our Holy Father in this article from Catholic News Agency.

Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2011

“The Lenten period, which leads us to the celebration of Holy Easter, is for the Church a most valuable and important liturgical time, in view of which I am pleased to offer a specific word in order that it may be lived with due crucifixdiligence. As she awaits the definitive encounter with her Spouse in the eternal Easter, the Church community, assiduous in prayer and charitable works, intensifies her journey in purifying the spirit, so as to draw more abundantly from the Mystery of Redemption the new life in Christ the Lord (cf. Preface I of Lent)…”

Read the rest of his message here.

Rising from the Ashes! Technology Bringing Faithful Home on Ash Wednesday

Catholics Come Home
RISING FROM THE ASHES!
TECHNOLOGY BRINGING FAITHFUL HOME ON ASH WEDNESDAY

(March 3, 2011) Atlanta, GA—Boston is no stranger to the challenges facing the world today:  the fragile economy, high unemployment, rising cost of food and gas, and turmoil around the globe.  In an effort to offer hope and peace to families during these troubled times in the world, the Archdiocese of Boston is turning to television, the Internet, and the power of God for the answers, by calling inactive Catholics home to the Church for Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season.

“This Lent, we’ve made an outreach to inactive Catholics … launching several television commercials to invite our brothers and sisters home,” said Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.  “It’s for Catholics, who for whatever reason have stopped coming to church.”  Worldwide, nearly 70 percent of baptized Catholics do not attend Mass regularly.

A massive television blitz in Boston and in 8 other (arch)dioceses begins March 7th, the Monday before Ash Wednesday, using highly produced television messages developed by the Atlanta based non-profit Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Catholics Come Home® an independent Catholic apostolate, is the lay Catholic group behind the Lenten TV advertising initiatives in the Boston, Manchester, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma/Thibodaux, Erie, Winona and Venice, FL dioceses.

In the past two years, “millions of people have already seen ads like this in other parts of the country and more than 200,000 people have already come home,” added Cardinal O’Malley.

The TV outreach begins two days before Ash Wednesday, one of the highest attended holy days in the Catholic Church.  Previous Catholics Come Home® initiatives have already aired in more than 20 dioceses from Chicago to Phoenix, Sacramento to Providence and Atlanta to Corpus Christi.  These ads will have reached 40 million viewers by Easter.  Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and as much as 18%.

“Months ago, I was an atheist trying to convert people out of the faith,” said Adrian from Colorado who saw the Catholics Come Home® commercial called “Epic.” I “felt like God was personally calling me home.”

Television campaigns often feature ads in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish in the most popular programming like news, sports and Prime Time.

Portraying the spirituality and history of the Catholic Church, the television messages reach out to inactive Catholics and others; encouraging their return to the Church.  The commercials direct the viewer to the www.CatholicsComeHome.org and www.CatolicosRegresen.org websites to explore answers to questions of faith and to utilize the site’s parish-finder feature to locate their local parish community and Mass times.

Many Non-Catholics have even praised the Catholics Come Home® commercials.  Debra, a Presbyterian from Charlotte, states, “I just saw your TV commercial and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it.  It is so refreshing to see your religion in such a positive light.”

The television and website advertisements accessible at www.CatholicsComeHome.org were created and are supported by a group of lay Catholic families and individuals inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization.  Pope Benedict XVI has continued this mission stating, “People of the Church, especially lay Christians, are called to promote the Gospel values in an even greater outreach through the press, radio, television and Internet.”

Through TV and the website www.CatholicsComeHome.org, Christ’s message of love is communicated through a gentle invitation.  “These messages are created and sponsored by lay Catholic families who have experienced a renewal of faith and who want to bring purpose and hope to other families across the country.  The results are nothing short of miraculous, and people are finding a real source for peace and answers during these troubled times” said Founder and President, Tom Peterson.

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To receive a copy of the commercials or hi res print images for media broadcast or to schedule an interview with Tom Peterson of Catholics Come Home®, please contact: Yvonne Marchese at 678-585-7886 x101, or by e-mail to yvonne@catholicscomehome.org


CatholicsComeHome.org
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks.  EncouragePriests.org™ is a special communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Archdiocese of Boston parish says ‘Catholics come home'

enterprisenews_logo BOSTON

‘Catholics come home,’ says St. Albert’s in Weymouth

WEYMOUTH —

The Archdiocese of Boston wants to gather its flock back into the fold. Hearing the call, the parish council at the Church of St. Albert the Great knew what to do.

The. Rev. Paul Soper of the Church of St. Albert the Great in Weymouth and Betsy Clifford, pastoral associate and music director, consider hymn selections for the open house that will be held on March 9, 2011.

The. Rev. Paul Soper of the Church of St. Albert the Great in Weymouth and Betsy Clifford, pastoral associate and music director, consider hymn selections for the open house that will be held on March 9, 2011.

As part of a new national campaign, Catholics Come Home, the church will hold a 24-hour open house March 9, Ash Wednesday.

Ads that are part of the archdiocese-wide campaign will begin airing on Boston television stations March 7, said the Rev. Paul Soper of St. Albert’s.

Every parish in the archdiocese is being asked to plan something for the beginning of Lent to welcome back those who have left the church or feel distant from it. The council at St. Albert’s decided to take a page from its vigil days of the past and be open around the clock with welcoming activities for that one day and night.

In 2004, St. Albert’s parishioners held a 10-month vigil, refusing to leave the church, to protest plans to close it. In 2005, the Archdiocese announced St. Albert’s would remain open.

At the Ash Wednesday open house, two Masses will be held and ashes will be given out all day. A priest will be available to take confession at anytime and lay people will be available throughout to sit down and talk and there will be refreshments in the parish hall.
click to read entire article

Where is your heart as you enter Holy Week?

Have you prepared yourself to enter Holy Week? Here are some beautiful words from our Holy Father to reflect on as we approach the Easter Triduum. His comments should help you gauge where your heart is as you enter this holy time of year…

“In reality, here we discover divine justice, which is so profoundly different from its human counterpart. God has paid for us the price of the exchange in His Son, a price that is truly exorbitant. Before the justice of the Cross, man may rebel for this reveals how man is not a self-sufficient being, but in need of Another in order to realize himself fully. Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need – the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship” (Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2010).

Have you relied on God to transform your heart this Lent? It’s never too late to rely on His love and mercy.

Have a blessed Holy Week, from CatholicsComeHome.org.

Getting to Know Our Lady…

Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation, and we commemorated Our Mother Mary’s “fiat” that should remind us of our need to grow in holiness and conformity to the will of God this Lent.

AnnunciationoftheLordWe have so much to learn from Mary’s life after this beautiful event. But what about the pre-Annunciation Mary? What can Our Lady teach us about humility and virtue through our glimpses of her early life?

Check out this great article by Dr. Ted Sri: The Original Mary: Our Lady’s Life Before the Annunciation.

You are in our prayers here at CatholicsComeHome.org as we prepare to enter Holy Week! God bless!